Pride Foundation Programs
Advocacy & Legislative Action
We know that often it takes legislative and policy work to bring equality to every person and every family. Currently, Pride Foundation is a significant leader on the pathway to full marriage equality in Washington State. Same-sex couples share the hopes and dreams of other committed couples – to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love – standing in front of friends and family to make a lifetime promise to love and protect one another in good times and bad. Working collaboratively with Washington United for Marriage, Pride Foundation is guiding a statewide community education project to increase understanding of and support for marriage equality in Washington State.
Pride Foundation provides grants to organizations, small and large, as they strengthen and serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community across the Northwest. Since 1987, we have provided over $36 million to 1,000s of essential organizations and programs.
Annually, Pride Foundation provides educational scholarships to LGBT and straight-ally student leaders. Pride Foundation’s scholarship program is one of the largest of its kind in the country and since offering our first scholarship in 1993 – over $2.3 million has been awarded to more than 1,000 scholars.
Leveraging local expertise and building leadership beyond urban communities are both hallmarks of Pride Foundation’s work across the Northwest. We engage volunteers in raising and distributing funds, communication outreach, and gaining overall visibility for equality.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Across Alaska, Idaho, and Montana, basic housing, safety and employment protections for LGBT people are being sought in key cities that increase the likelihood of statewide protections in the coming years. In all three of these states, you can still be dismissed from your job, or denied equal access to housing or health care for being LGBT. Full marriage equality is being fought for in Washington and Oregon continues to press for laws and policies that ensure much-needed basic rights and accessible services for the transgender community. Currently and in Washington, Pride foundation is working collaboratively with Washington United for Marriage, guiding a statewide community education project to increase understanding of and support for marriage equality in Washington State.
Students who have been stigmatized or isolated, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity often lack critical family, financial, and community support. Encouraging them to continue their education can be very challenging. Too often, individuals of great promise give up because they don’t think anyone believes in them or cares what they have to contribute. In 2012, Pride Foundation will increase scholarships awarded to student leaders, to nearly $400,000 shared with more than 100 student leader recipients.